Early Modern Crime and the Law

Two Petitions to the Cheshire Great Sessions, 1648

(Documents from The National Archives: CHES 24/127/1-2)

seventeenth-century petition
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To the hoble the Justices of Assize for the Countie of chester houlden at Namptwitch

The Petn of Hen[ry ?F]arrur Esqr

Humbly sheweth
That whereas there are two riotts found by the grand Jury, against certaine unruly & evill Affected persons in Bebington parish comitted against the high sheriffe of the countie & certaine others in pursuance of an ordinance of Parlamt to the evill example of other parishes, Manie following these rioters steps in degree though none aspired to the like height

May it therefore please yor hors to put some considerable fine uppon the offenders heads (for terror to others) though yor Lordships be pleased to ?[Minitryate/Minioryate] them afterwards

And may it please yor Lordships if time & leasure serve to take veiw of some few (amongst manie) particulars taken out of the depositions wch proved the riott, to demonstrate in some degree the nature of the offence

[order in Latin to issue recognizances binding the indicted persons to the good behaviour and appearance at the next session of the court]


seventeenth-century petition
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To the right Hoble John Bradshawe and Peter Warburton [Esqs?] his Maties Justices of Chester./

The humble peticon of Ralph Drabull a very poore man.

Humbly sheweth
That yor peticoner being the [la]st Assizes held at Namptwich Indicted for building a Smale cottage in Cristleton where hee was borne and brought upp, applyed himself [to] the Justices of peace at the Quarter Sessions held at Northwich [the] Second day of May last, where hee obteyned the order annexed for yor peticoner to dwell in the said cottage to bring upp his children.

Yor peticoner therefore humbly beseecheth yor honors That all ffine and other proceedings upon the said indictmt may bee spared
And yor peticoner shall ever pray for yor honors

Let the ffine stay & all othr proceedgs upon ye sd Inditemt untill further ordr &c.
28 7br 1648
Jo: Bradshawe